The price to pay when you help others

I thought I would not want to write about this, but it looks like I have to now. 

In the course of discussing the Chow Chow situation today, I was blamed by this staff from the shelter that the rehoming of the Ketam dogs in Bentong has not turned out the way they had expected it to. 

She said the dogs have all gone missing and are skinny now.  She also said that their chairperson is very “pissed” by this. 

The dogs have “gone missing” because they have been let free to roam on the farm.  Whenever we visit, it has not been possible for us to locate them though we do see a few around the enclosure.  The farm is 85 acres.   

Some of the dogs are skinny – I have already reported this in last month’s visit and this, I believe, is due to the fact that they have to adjust to the vegetarian diet. 

I hope I don’t have to repeat myself anymore (and I’m truly getting very tired of saying this now) – we had no choice but to rehome the dogs there despite all the limitations (especially the vegetarian diet) because the shelter was going to euthanise them all.  What choice did we have then? 

We already knew this Bentong farm was not an ideal place for the dogs.  Yet, between euthanasia and letting them live out their natural lives in a no-kill sanctuary, I chose the lesser of the two evils. 

If the shelter is unhappy about this, and their chairperson is “pissed”, are they doing anything about it now?  After all, didn’t they also rehome two batches of their own dogs in Bentong after we did ours? 

In our previous visit, I have asked the shelter to send a vet up to evaluate the situation and condition of the dogs, so that we can do something constructive, but there was no vet in their team.  Instead, there was a vet in the Kechara team who came with us, and I have asked him to recommend a vitamin supplement which we will supply in our next visit.

So much for complaining and finger-pointing, which I find extremely immature and unbeneficial.  It is very easy to blame others when things go wrong – that’s the most convenient thing to do. 

I would prefer to put our heads together and work out a solution to the problem since what’s done is already done.  At that moment in time, that was the best solution we could think of.  There is no such thing as a right or wrong solution – there is only a “best possible solution” given the constraints and circumstances of the situation at the time.

As for the Chow Chow, I have already done my best to raise the RM400 as pledged, and I will honour this pledge despite all the scathing remarks hurled at me today.  But I am now told that this money is not needed anymore, and that she is going to ask the vet to put the dog down.  That would be her call, definitely not mine.    

As with all the other animals we have helped, I have also repeatedly asked for adopters for this Chow Chow.  There has been no response so far, so what else can I do?  We do not have a shelter or a sanctuary.  We operate from our own homes.  Just because we managed to rehome Abby and Super, does that mean we MUST be able to rehome this Chow Chow?  Is that fair?  Haven’t I already done my part in asking for adopters?  

To accuse me of being a “killer” just because I am not able to find a home for this Chow Chow (which by the way, is THEIR shelter dog) is extremely unfair and preposterous. 

The silver lining behind this momentary dark cloud is this – I am sure this shelter will not be asking for my help again.  I also would not want to bear the heartache of having helped them, and to receive these brickbats from them.  

10 comments to The price to pay when you help others

  • Elise

    It is not difficult to understand why you chose to rehome the dogs (on the vegetarian diet) rather than let the shelter euthanise them. I would have done the same too. Dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet. Otherwise, why do the shops sell vegetarian kibbles (specially formulated for dogs with certain diseases).
    It is very easy for people to complain and say "you should have done this" and "you should not have done that". What did they do on their part?
    I know you are doing your best for the dogs now, and you have our support on this.

  • Dr. Kah Yein, it's just a challenge of life :). Accept it and be happy for the lesson that we have learned :).

    Anyways, I have so much intention to help and adopt Chow Chow, yet my condition and situation do not allow me to do so. I will try to ask friends that can provide home for Chow Chow.

    Thanks :)

  • Sammy

    It is very wrong for her to call you a "killer" when you have done your best to help the dog.
    I have brought a dog to their shelter before, and they told me they will put it to sleep. They did not care about my feelings at all.
    You take care, and do not let such unkind words detract you from your mission. You will always have my spiritual and physical support.

  • Sis Kah Yein, its sad to hear what had happen despite all the good that you and your team of volunteers had done not only to the ketam dogs but to all animals that animalcare had been able to help. At lease to these animals it had made a difference. Alot of us are volunteering and giving our time, money, energy, & etc back to the community as we all believe that we still can do more and there is more yet to be done. Then again there are those whom is into it as a way to fast-track themself in the community not to mention with the 'green EGO monster' very much attached. But at the end of the day we only have ourself to answer to. As we are our own safe haaven no one else is. Do take care and keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    My 2 cents worth. Have you noticed that this particular 'established' shelter seems to be at odds with other independent rescue organisations (IPR, FFF & others)? They just couldn't get along with anybody.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Kahyein, fully agree that "it is best NOT to work with established organisations. They have their own funds and their own resources for their shelter animals. After all, they are so much bigger than us, and they definitely have more supporters than us."

    Many independent pet rescuers (IPRs) have experienced what you have and suffered for it. They only play games and do things to benefit and glorify themselves. It is therefore no surprise that there are soooooooo many IPRs working on their own instead of pooling resources with the "Big Orgs". They are not helping the animals, just using them as vehicles to serve their own selfish needs and ambitions. See what they did to FFF, especially during the Pulau Ketam Rescue period.

    "I view it as a reminder for us to keep to our mission of helping small-time rescuers and their animals. The big-timers can take care of themselves." Yes, Kahyein, don't waste time and precious resources with them … it is good riddance to bad rubbish … and keep your pretty chin up, hold your head high like the rest of us small fries, get tough and push on … for the numerous voiceless, suffering animals around us! God is with us (the weak).

  • Anonymous

    I know how disheartening it is to hear such words from people who we are trying to help but don't be discouraged, like the chinese saying 'one type of rice eaten by thousand types of people'.

    Many many years ago, I used to support and donate money and items to that shelter but after an incident which really left a bad taste in my mouth, I have since boycotted them totally. I think most big organisations are NATO.

    Like you said, we will work in our own small-timer way. And we know that what we are doing is ultimately for the animals and not for the glamour nor the publicity.

    You have our support!

  • if this is the same organization that i suspect you're talking about, then i have to tragically admit that it is no surprise. there have been one too many stories i've read about big so-called renowned names in animal welfare in malaysia (or kl at least) letting silly human-interest agendas get into the way of the real matters at hand. and it disgusts me how the people who monopolize the animal welfare scene are not being sincere to the cause AND at the same time will do ANYTHING to maintain their good name in the public eye.
    don't worry Kah Yein. we completely feel your frustrations and we support your intentions. just keep doing what you do. you are amazing and your perseverance and positive spirit is an inspiration to all.

  • Dear Kah Yein
    All of us who have and are still putting as much as we can to improve the lives of our animal sentient beings, have experienced what you have experienced.
    We can despair and give up.
    We can see "negativities" as our "most precious teachers"
    We can examine our own motivation
    We can see the emptiness of all phenomena
    We can see the wisdom of "neither attachment to praise or (unconstructive) criticisms"
    and carry on…even if it were to benefit just ONE animal

  • workingdog

    The people at the shelter are absolute bureaucrats — blaming the system and complaining about lack of funds and whining about mistrust. Sounds just like politicians — which, of course, is exactly what they are.

    In my opinion, they have not the slightest clue when dealing with dogs and all they ever do is send frustrated/aggressive/mildly neurotic dogs to unsuspecting adopters. New adopters then send the dogs back for re-homing.

    More misery all round — for dogs and humans. End result: more unwanted dogs in our society.

    That's the price we Malaysians pay for not checking out what these shelters actually do with all the time, money and empathy.

    My advice? Ignore them and their moral high-horse.